On December 11, 2014, the German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF) hosted a workshop in Washington, DC, as part of the Central and Eastern European Energy Security Forum (CEE ESF) project titled “Transatlantic Energy Priorities and Avenues for Cooperation.” It was the fifth in a series of off-the-record workshops on options for a coordinated and integrated approach that can link energy security to other regional, Europe-wide, and transatlantic priorities. The event featured the Department of Energy's acting Assistant Secretary for International Affairs Jonathan Elkind, Latvian Ambassador to the United States Andris Razans, and participants from the diplomatic community, business, think tanks, and government representatives. The dialogue focused on outcomes from the recent U.S.-EU Energy Council meeting, challenges to energy security for Ukraine and for the European Union, and opportunities for the transatlantic partners to address these issues in international platforms.
The discussion made clear that energy security frameworks are not a concept of the past but a very real challenge for the United States and Europe. However, it was suggested that successfully addressing these issues will rely on approaching them in an updated way. Speakers and participants spoke at length about the importance of supply diversification and increased competitiveness in international gas markets but also stressed that action taken in the energy sector would need to move towards addressing the effects of climate change as well. Lastly, discussion highlighted how these energy security priorities may be addressed in the Latvian EU presidency next year and touched upon the legal and regulatory hurdles to completing the EU's third energy package.